Frida Kahlo Home

(continuer en français) – Last updated: November 29, 2020

This blue house in the Coyoacán district of Mexico City was the family home of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). The artist, known mainly for her disturbing paintings, spent most of her life here, apart from her long stays abroad, namely in the United States and Paris.

The house built in 1904 was originally her parents’ house, her father of German origin had emigrated to Mexico in 1891 at the age of 19. Frida Kahlo inherited the house and continued to design it, shaping the house and garden to her own taste. Married to Diego Rivera, a well-known and wealthy painter, he bought the neighbouring property, thus enlarging the garden. He in turn inherited the house on the death of Frida Kahlo and donated it in 1958 for a museum.

Several rooms, still furnished as in the time of Frida Kahlo, are visited.

The decoration of the kitchen recalls all the eccentricity and creativity of the artist.

A visit to the studio is certainly the most moving part of the house, where all the disorder that accompanies artistic creation has been left behind, everything has remained as it was. On an easel is the unfinished work on which Frida Kahlo was still working at the time of her death at the age of 47.

In front of the easel, the wheelchair is a reminder that Frida Kahlo’s whole life was marked by illness and accidents. She was in and out of hospital several times, underwent numerous surgeries, including the amputation of her right leg. Long periods of convalescence forced her to stay in bed, she painted in this position, a mirror fixed to the ceiling reflected her face, the source of her multiple self-portraits.

Her serious health conditions could only fuel a tortured work where the macabre often crept in, also mixing in the Mexican cultural traditions to which the artist always remained attached.

The shady and lush garden adorns the house, helping to overcome the hottest periods of the Mexican summer, also serving as a place to entertain friends and acquaintances. Despite her poor medical conditions, Frida Kahlo maintained a very active social life, placing her at the centre of the artistic and intellectual life of the Mexican capital.

In 1937, Frida Kahlo welcomed Leon Trotsky to her home during the early days of his exile in Mexico. At that time there was a short, passionate affair between them. For security reasons Leon Trotsky moved to another house which was easier to secure, in spite of this he was murdered in 1940 by a Soviet agent.

The garden contains many pre-Columbian sculptures, a miniature pyramid is used to display several of them.

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, two passionate artists, have lived through a tumultuous marriage, including divorce and remarriage, each of them also having numerous affairs.

Thanks to his financial affluence, obtained by the creation of large murals in prominent buildings, Diego Rivera managed to preserve the Blue House and to pass it on to the public after his death. Ironically, it is likely that Frida Kahlo’s work is now more popular than his own.

The artist’s rights and image are now represented by her great-grandniece. In view of her fame, many by-products are now being marketed, as the museum shop can give some idea.

Practically speaking, Coyoacán is a safe residential area to wander around. Located a little away from the centre and hotel areas, unless you are familiar with the bus network, you can choose to go there by taxi, as all drivers know where the museum is located.

The Blue House receives many visitors, both foreign and Mexican, so it is advisable to go there during the week, if possible, to avoid the weekend rush. Photographs inside the house are allowed by paying an extra fee when buying the entrance ticket, they are free in the garden. It’s worth the extra charge, at least for one person if there are several of you.

Frida Kahlo’s image is now widely used, mainly by the tourist industry.

To be informed of upcoming articles, register here (it’s free).

 

Articles about Mexico:

Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico

Mexico City: Top 10

More than 20 million inhabitants crammed into the bottom of a dried-up lake at an altitude of 2240 metres, this is the weird profile of one of the largest cities in the world. When Hernan Cortes conquered Mexico in 1521, he established his capital where the Aztec capital already stood. Since then, the city has continued to grow and face many ecological challenges.

Zona Rosa in Mexico City

During my stay in Mexico City, I found the Zona Rosa district to be the friendliest place in the city, especially for foreigners looking for an international atmosphere, either as residents or visitors.

Zona Rosa, Mexico City, Mexico
Frida Kahlo's house, Mexico City

Frida Kahlo Home

This blue house in the Coyoacán district of Mexico City was the family home of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). The artist, known mainly for her disturbing paintings, spent most of her life here, apart from her long stays abroad, namely in the United States and Paris.

National Museum of Anthropology

The National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City has an impressive collection of pre-Columbian artefacts, those that once embellished the temples we visit today stripped of their most beautiful ornaments.

National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City, Mexico
Alley of the Dead, Teotihuacan, Mexico

Teotihuacan

Located 31 miles, 50 kilometres, north of Mexico City, Teotihuacan was at the centre of a civilisation that extended its influence throughout southern Mexico and into Central America from 200 BC to 700 AD, with a peak around 450. At that time, about 200,000 people lived there.

To be informed of upcoming articles, register here (it’s free).

17 comments

    • Frida Kahlo’s house was one of the places I wanted to see in Mexico City. It’s always interesting to see the context in which an artist has lived. It is true that it is significant how much her life has influenced her work. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. I’m glad that you could see the Blue House too, it still looks a lot like the house Frida Kahlo lived in, which allows to know a bit about her life and also Diego Rivera’s life.

      Like

    • Learning more about the life of an artist, including a visit to his/her home, surely helps to better understand his/her work. For Frida Kahlo, her many problems certainly contributed to the tortured and disturbing work she left behind. Thanks for reading.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s